The University of Akron men’s basketball team has received a commitment from Noah Robotham, a senior point guard from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev.
Robotham announced Friday on social medial that he plans to play basketball for the Zips this upcoming season.
“I’ve decided to attend the University of Akron!” Robotham said on Twitter. “Thanks to all who supported me..can’t wait to get out to Ohio & start a new chapter #GoZips.”
Robotham was named the 2014 Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year following a senior year in which he averaged 16.0 points, 7.1 assists and 3.1 steals per game and helped guide Bishop Gorman to its third consecutive large school state title in March.
“Akron made me a priority from day one,” Robotham told David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal in an interview. “They were always there and never pressured me. You have to go where it’s the right fit and go where you’re wanted.
“Throughout the recruiting process, my parents and my brother and the other people that helped me preached about the people that are there with you. Akron is definitely the best place for me to grow as an athlete, as a player and as a person.”
Robotham, who is 6-foot, told Schoen he has given UA an oral commitment. Zips coaches can’t comment until he signs a national letter of intent, which could happen this week.
Robotham said he picked Akron over interest from Boston College, Oregon State, San Jose State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He also held scholarship offers from Idaho, Idaho State, Northern Arizona, Tennessee-Martin and UC Davis.
Robotham told Schoen: “The best thing about Akron right now is the coach. When I went on my visit, they instantly took me in and I could tell the team was very family oriented.”
Coach Keith Dambrot has guided UA to a 231-107 record in 10 seasons. UA has won 20 or more games in each of the past nine seasons, and the Zips have made a postseason tournament eight times during Dambrot’s tenure, with trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2009, 2011 and 2013 after winning the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
Robotham is Bishop Gorman’s all-time winningst player with 112 wins. Jonathan Loyd (2010) and Shabazz Muhammad (2011, 2012) are two recent Bishop Gorman products who also were named Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year. Loyd played this past season as a senior at the University of Oregon and Muhammad is in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves after playing in college at UCLA.
“I built my career on winning, and they have 20-plus wins every year [at Akron],” Robotham said. “That’s something I’m used to doing, and I don’t plan on changing.”
UA’s roster for 2014-2015 is evolving following the addition of Robotham and two other incoming scholarship freshmen, 6-foot-4 guard Jimond Ivey and 5-foot-11 guard Antino Jackson. Ivey and Jackson signed with UA in April.
Ivey averaged around 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game as a senior at Glenville High School in Cleveland.
Jackson averaged around 19 points, five assists and four rebounds per game as a senior at Cypress Springs High School in Texas.
The Zips also got commitments from two walk-on players for next season, Cleveland John Hay senior Cristen Wilson and Lakewood St. Edward senior Malcolm Walters.
Wilson is 6-foot-7 and averaged around 20 points per game as a senior for the Hornets.
Walters is 6-foot-2 and helped St. Edward win the Division I state championship as a senior. He averaged around nine points and five assists per game for the Eagles.
UA is set to lose Quincy Diggs, who averaged 12.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season as a senior.
Another departure could be coming as the roster has expanded.
Demetrius Treadwell, Nick Harney, Nyles Evans and Deji Ibitayo are set to be Zips seniors next season. Treadwell led UA last season with 15.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
Jake Kretzer, Reggie McAdams, Carmelo Betancourt and Pat Forsythe are slated to be juniors.
Kwan Cheatham Jr. and Isaiah Johnson are set to be sophomores, and B.J. Gladden and Aaron Jackson are scheduled to be red-shirt freshmen after sitting out this past season.